ESOS agencies

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The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Secretary of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) are referred to as 'ESOS agencies'.

DESE has fact sheets for each education sector outlining the registration and regulatory processes:

Jurisdictional coverage of ASQA

ASQA is the ESOS agency for all National VET Regulator (NVR) registered training organisations (within the meaning of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulatory Act 2011) in all states and territories.

Jurisdictional coverage of TEQSA

TEQSA is the ESOS agency for all higher education providers (within the meaning of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011) across Australia.

Jurisdictional coverage of the DESE

The Secretary of DESE is the ESOS agency for all schools. The state and territory authorities role is to recommend school providers for registration and monitor schools’ compliance under the ESOS Act. They are referred to as designated State authorities (DSAs).

The DSA for a provider is the education agency responsible for approving schools to operate in their state or territory:

Schools need to apply for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) to DESE through their DSA. The DSA will assess the school’s appropriateness for CRICOS registration, identify any conditions that should be placed on the school’s registration, and issue a DSA assessment certificate.

The DSA assessment certificate must accompany the school’s application for CRICOS registration to DESE, which will make a final decision on whether to register the school on CRICOS.

Schools seeking to renew their registration follow the same process of applying through their DSA, which will issue a recommendation certificate instead of an assessment certificate.

Contact details for CRICOS regulatory authorities can be found on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students website.

Dual sector higher education and VET providers

Providers that offer both higher education and VET courses to overseas students should direct CRICOS registration applications relating to higher education courses to TEQSA and relating to VET courses to ASQA. Where a provider is seeking to renew its higher education and VET registrations concurrently, the two regulatory agencies will work collaboratively to consider and, where possible, synchronise related topics of assessment. While ASQA and TEQSA will make individual decisions in respect of their areas of regulatory responsibility, they will liaise with each other throughout the assessment process to ensure optimal coordination.

Regulation of ELICOS and Foundation Program providers

ASQA is the ESOS agency for providers of English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) programs in all states and territories except where a provider delivers the program:

  • in the capacity of a school;
  • in the capacity of a higher education provider; or
  • under an Entry Arrangement* with at least one higher education provider. 

TEQSA is the ESOS agency for:

  • all foundation programs
  • all ELICOS delivered by a higher education provider and
  • all providers delivering ELICOS programs under an Entry Arrangement*  with at least one higher education provider.

* Entry Arrangement - means a pathway arrangement under which an overseas student, who completes an ELICOS program with the provider, meets the minimum English proficiency requirements for entry with the higher education provider to study a higher education course or foundation program

The Secretary of the Department of Education and Training is the ESOS agency for all ELICOS provided in the capacity of a school. The state and territory authorities maintain their role of recommending school providers for registration and monitoring compliance under the ESOS act but will now be referred to a the 'designated State authority' (DSA).

Providers of ELICOS and foundation programs must meet the relevant ELICOS Standards and Foundation Program Standards respectively, in addition to other registraion requirements under the ESOS Act.  More information on the ELICOS Standards and Foundation Program Standards can be found in the (ESOS) Legislative Framework section of this website.